Therapeutic Communities are a form of therapy that can be used for those suffering from mental health problems.

There are many different types of talking therapy. Therefore, it is important to consider your choices. This article provides some key areas worth knowing in regards to Therapeutic Communities.

Therapeutic Communities offer a unique form of therapy

What are Therapeutic Communities?

Therapeutic Communities: Therapeutic Communities are for people with long-standing and complex emotional problems. These communities host groups of people, where individuals will often attend for weeks, and even months in some cases – typically attending a large house. Most therapy is provided in small groups. Patients are taught about interacting with others, and by partaking in group activities, learn the importance of getting on with others. When disagreements arise, the patients in the treatment are entrusted with setting rules to prohibit conflict. The patients also improve social skills by engaging in common behaviour – such as meal preparation. Not everyone is allowed into a Therapeutic Community, with the patients already situated at the community deciding whether or not an individual can enter. Overall, these measures can lead to an improved chance of recovery.

1. Therapeutic Communities are for those with long-standing conditions

Therapeutic Communities are designed for people with long-standing and complex emotional needs. Mental health professionals believe that these people may benefit from attending a community.

Typical conditions that those attending a community will have include substance-related conditions, personality disorders, eating disorders and Bipolar disorder among others.

2. Therapeutic Communities are residential

Something that not many people realise is that Therapeutic Communities are residential-based, meaning those that are part of a community will stay overnight at the residence.

The person will then typically go back to their home for a weekend before returning to the community afterwards. Therefore, these communities require a lot of time being spent at them.

3. Therapeutic Communities are very structured

Therapeutic Communities are highly-structured, with all residents expected to adhere to set rules and procedures. Everyone needs to pull their weight.

Therapeutic Communities will have different events at set times, and residents will need to attend sessions and events when necessary.

4. Therapeutic Communities offer a range of therapy types

One of the biggest positives of Therapeutic Communities is that they offer an excellent chance to receive therapy – both as an individual and as a group.

A range of different therapies are offered at Therapeutic Communities, meaning everyone should find a type of therapy that works for them, aiding their recovery

5. Entry is not guaranteed

Therapeutic Communities are self-governed. This means that the members are expected to work together to run the community with minimal intervention from staff.

As part of this responsibility, the members will only admit those that they think would fit in well at the community. Therefore, entry is not guaranteed into these communities.

Therapeutic Communities involve both individual and group therapy

6. There is an emphasis on teamwork

Because Therapeutic Communities are self-governing, members need to get along with one another. Therefore, teamwork is an important skill to have.

Some therapy will be conducted in a group, while other tasks like residence upkeep and making decisions will also require good teamwork skills from residents.

7. Therapeutic Communities are rarely first line treatments

When a person requires treatment for ill mental health, it is very rare for Therapeutic Communities to be suggested straight-away.

Instead, Therapeutic Communities will typically only be offered if a person has failed to receive any benefit from a few different types of therapy.

8. Therapeutic Communities teach skills for life

Therapeutic Communities not only provide mental health treatment, but they also provide practical skills that can be used in everyday life. These include organisation, time management and communication skills.

As a result, Therapeutic Communities can be an excellent experience for those that partake in them. They are likely to enjoy a range of benefits.

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